Emergency Services

How a Water Meter Works

water meter blog

Your water meter helps measure the flow of water coming into your home. The utility company will take monthly readings from your water meter to assess how much water you use and determine how much to charge you. If you haven’t figured out where your water meter is just yet, it’s usually located near the front sidewalk and is usually covered by a metal or plastic lid.

This is what your water meter will usually look like:
water meter information

Now, let’s define our terms:

Registration Units: This tells you which unit of measurement your water meter is using. In the case of the example above, gallons are being used.

Reading Numbers: This is how many of the registration units have been used.

Sweep Hand: This hand measures how much water has been used. As it moves, the reading numbers increase.

Manufacture Date: This tells us the month and year that the water meter was produced. In the case of our example, December 1999 is the manufacturing date.

Meter Size: this is the size of the water meter itself which is typically one size smaller than the feed pipe to the house. Your typical water meter sizes will be 5/8″, 3/4″, 1″, and 1 1/2″.

Leak Detector: This will usually be a small triangle shaped dial or one that looks like a small silver wheel. If you see it rotating, then that means you have a leak.

How Exactly Does a Water Meter Work?

water meter

Inside your water meter, there is a chamber that has a wobbling disk that divides the chamber up into various compartments and rotates counter clockwise as it moves. These compartments are designed to take on a certain amount of volume, driving the disk with liquid pressure. As the disk makes a full cycle, its movements are transmitted to an indicator or pulse transmitter which will then make it so that the reading numbers are recorded according to the registration units of the water meter.

How Often Should Your Meter Be Replaced?

Your water meter should be replaced at least every 15 years. Most brand new water meters are 99%-101% accurate. However, that accuracy often declines by two or three percent after 15 years.

Need a Plumber? Call Shamrock Plumbing!

If your water meter has detected a leak or if you believe it’s recordings are much higher than what you’re actually using (which means there is most likely a leak), please call us! We will inspect your home and track down the source of the leak. This way, you can save water and money!

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